An icon of Russian automobile luxury

Chaika “Tshaika” 13 GAZ

A Chaika (Russian: Чайка), which means gull, is a luxury

automobile from the Soviet Union made by GAZ. The

vehicle is one step down from the ZIL limousine.

Specifications and history

Chaika production consisted of two generations. The Mark 1 Chaika, the GAZ M13, debuted in 1958. The cabriolet was made in 1961 and 1962 for official parades. It was produced from 1959 to 1981, with 3,179 built in all. The M13 was powered by a 195 hp (145 kW; 198 PS) 5.5L V8 and driven through a push-button automatic transmission of a similar design to the Chrysler TorqueFlite unit. It was offered as a saloon (GAZ 13), limousine (GAZ 13A), and four-door cabriolet (GAZ 13B) with an electrohydraulic top. RAF in Riga produced the GAZ 13A Universal, an estate, in the 1960s in Riga; this was also built as the GAZ 13C ambulance, as well as a hearse. Produced for a few years in the 1960s, it is the lowest-volume Chaika variant. Small numbers were also built for Mosfilm. As a limousine-class car, Chaikas were available only to the Soviet government, and could not be purchased by average citizens. However, citizens were allowed to rent Chaikas for weddings. Chaikas were used by Soviet ambassadors and Communist Party First Secretaries in East Germany, Korea, Bulgaria, Hungary, Mongolia, and Finland, among others; Fidel Castro was given one by President Nikita Khrushchev, who himself preferred the Chaika to his ZIL, and kept one at his summer dacha. For their larger size and more powerful V8, Chaikas were also ordered in some quantity by the KGB. Top speed was 99 mph (159 km/h). Most Chaikas were saloons. The M13B was built for only two years 1961 and 1962. The GAZ 13 was discontinued in 1981. The M14 debuted in 1977, and ran to the end of Chaika production in 1988.

Second generation

The vintage 1950s-style M13 was succeeded by the more modern Chaika M14 introduced in 1977 (although production of both versions overlapped by several years). Although visually modern and fitted with the latest electronic luxury features, the M14 was in fact built around the drivetrain and undercarriage of the older model. The M14 engine was a modernized 5,526 cc (337.2 cu in) and achieved 220 horsepower (160 kW). A seven-seater, with special soundproofing, it measured 611 cm (241 in) long overall and weighed in at 2,600 kg (5,732 lb). A four-door convertible, the 14-95, appeared in 1982. The Chaika M14 remained in production from 14 October 1977 to 1988, after which point the Chaika limousine brand was ended. Around a hundred M14s were built each year, with total production (including those out of spares in 1989) reaching 1,114. On orders from Mikhail Gorbachev, the blueprints and tooling were destroyed as part of his "fighting privileges" campaign under perestroika.


Engine 5.5 litres V8 Lenght/width 5,6 m/2,0 m Weight 2050kg The collections Chaika is a living example of the bilateral commerce between Soviet Union and Finland. Several Chaikas were imported for the corporate management use. This one served in Jämsaänkoski for the legendary director Juuso Walden of United Paper Mills.
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.